2012 saw renewed competition in the gadget sector, with a number of high-profile smartphone, entertainment and computing releases catching the public eye and raising the bar. Innovation was the name of the game, and before we see the stakes raised even further in 2013, HumanIPO looks at five of the best 2012 had to offer.
The iPhone 5 has seen Apple take the challenge to its competitors in the smartphone race, with its upgraded technologies and superior aesthetics. The device, 7.6 mm thick, is 18 percent thinner than the iPhone 4S, and 20 percent lighter, weighing 112 grams. These specifications are compounded by the longer 4-inch Retina display, making the device the most visual smartphone to date. The iPhone 5 also features state-of-the-art technologies, including a nano-SIM card, an 8MP camera with panorama capabilities, and innovative single-chip LTE technology.
The new Wii U games console was released towards the end of the year to much anticipation, with consumers expecting a device that would revolutionise the gaming experience. The key innovation to the console comes in the form of the “Gamepad” – a 6.2-inch touch-screen hand-held unit boasting an HD screen with a player-facing camera to enable users to enjoy the bespoke HD-enabled games. Given that the Gamepad pictures the same image as visible on the TV screen, the console makers have also made it possible for users to switch TV channel, enabling concurrent gaming and TV use.
Raspberry Pi Model B
The Raspberry Pi mini-computer created a frenzy this year, as the 3.4 x 2.2 inch motherboard was released to the public. Intended as a novel way of reigniting interest in technology among children, the non-profit Raspberry Foundation priced the initial model A at only US$25 per unit in a bid to make computing accessible to all children.
However, it was the Model B that raised the stakes to a higher level, upping the specifications of the device. Based on a 700MHz Broadcom BCM2835 system on a chip (SoC), RAM was boosted to 516 MB, boasting 10/100MB ethernet and providing two USB ports on the tiny device. Retailing at only US$35 per unit, the Raspberry Pi Model B has excited the technological fantasies of children and adults alike.
Samsung Galaxy SIII
The Samsung Galaxy SIII has seen huge uptake since its May release, achieving 30 million sales in the first five months of its availability. The device features a 4.8 inch AMOLED display, is 8.6 mm thick, and weighs 133 grams; and although initially operated on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Samsung has already released updates globally to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Already available in South Africa, the Samsung Galaxy SIII was the handset of choice for Vodacom’s sensational launch of the country’s first commercial LTE service.
MacBook Pro with Retina Display
The MacBook Pro with Retina Display has won global acclaim through its incredible visuals and high-end technology. The most prominent innovation is the 2880 x 1800 resolution liquid crystal display, known as the Retina Display, which tricks the eye into forgetting images are pixel-based. The product also has improved technical specifications, including a quad-core i7 processor, along with 16GB of RAM, making the device both stunning visually and sturdy in technical terms.